Fort Sumter National Monument
- Type: Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
- Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
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You probably remember Fort Sumter as the place where the first shot of the Civil War was fired, back in 1861. Today, you can see for yourself where all the action happened by taking a ferry to the actual fort. Take your time exploring the thick stone caverns, which still house several Civil War-era cannons. You should also stop by Fort Sumter's small yet informative museum, which provides more in-depth information about the fort's role in the war.
Most Charleston visitors agree that Fort Sumter is a must-see. However, there were a few people who felt that their visit fell short. One TripAdvisor writes: "My husband and I are both shocked that the National Park Service would maintain such a biased account of American History." Other recent visitors say that, for the price they pay, they wish they could have been given more time to tour.
Fort Sumter National Monument is perched on a small island in Charleston Harbor several miles southwest of the city. Ferries to the monument depart from the Liberty Square Visitors Center and from Patriot's Point, which sits just opposite the harbor in USS Yorktown State Park. Ferries to the fort and tours take place daily, but hours vary depending on the season. While it is free to explore Sumter itself, the ferry ride costs approximately $15 for adults. For more information, check out the fort's website. If you would like to learn more about guided tours, visit the Fort Sumter Tours website.